It’s the first day of fall, and there’s no time to waste. Break out the pumpkin spice and sweaters. Gawk at nature and start deciding on a Halloween costume. Summer’s done and Mercury is no longer in retrograde, so let’s celebrate with some new music. Pick Your Poison has you covered as always. Don’t miss downloads in this set from Mica Levi (ft. KEVIN), Owls of the Swamp, Soft Pyramids and Zoee. In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream songs from Allen Tate, Axis: Sova, The Big Moon (covering Madonna), Cosima, DIANA, Gosh Pith, Hello Shark, Kelela, NxWorries, Simian Mobile Disco, Tele Novella and You Blew It.
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Feeling good on this Tuesday, doing my best to savor the last moments of summer before things turn cold and blustery. Today’s Pick Your Poison is designed with those last gasps of warmth in mind. Don’t miss downloads from Chris Stalcup, Kinky Love, SALT and Timothy J. Wilson. In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream songs from Blonder, Earwig (ft. Lydia Loveless), The Griswolds, Honus Honus, Jubilee (ft. Hoodcelebrityy), Juliette Lewis, Justin Peter Kinkel-Schuster, Lion Babe, Spencer Ludwig, Speingtime Carnivore, Tycho and Wiz Khalifa (ft. J.R. Donato).
Oof. Sometimes you make a mistake. Not like a minor spelling error sort of mistake or a major life-altering sort of mistake, but one that impacts you for a brief period of time. Like this past weekend, for example, in which I attended two full days of Riot Fest, followed by an aftershow on Sunday night that went until well past 2AM despite needing to get up a few hours later for that fun thing known as a job. Riding the struggle bus all day today, and really just want to crawl back into bed for a good 3-4 hour nap. Instead, let’s talk Pick Your Poison. Some great tracks up for download from Crushed Out, Husky Rescue, Jenny Hval and Mylko. In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream songs from Beach Slang (covering Japandroids), Damaged Bug, Dillon Francis (ft. Will Heard), The Dodos (covering American Football), Fraternal Twin, Fujiya & Miyagi, Joyce Manor, Katie Gately, Miniature Tigers, Nick Waterhouse (covering Sade), Warehouse and more.
Your final Pick Your Poison for the week has a few genuine bangers to help provide support and energy as the week wraps up. If you’re headed to Riot Fest this weekend, I’ll see you in Douglas Park. Let me recommend some downloads from Craig Hallsworth, The Embrooks, Left & Righ and Weird. In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream songs from Conner Youngblood, Dragonette (ft. Dada), Kevin Krauter (of Hoops), La Sera, Mica Levi & Oliver Coates, Porter Robinson & Madeon, Psychic TV (covering The Creation), Purling Hiss, Shock Machine, Suburban Living, Trails and Ways, and Wolf People.
Let’s keep this train rollin’, because we’re only a couple days away from the weekend. So close you can almost taste it. Here’s a brand new collection of songs for you to digest. Don’t miss downloads in this set from Cheshires, Errant Boy, The March Divide, Polar (ft. Gucci Mane) and PURGE. In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream songs from Boogie, Clams Casino (ft. Lil B), Crying, Luke Temple, Marching Church, Mndsgn, Nia (covering Golden Suits), Princess Nokia, Red Sleeping Beauty, Sonic Avenues and Years & Years.
So Riot Fest Chicago takes place this weekend. If you’re a local and are not excited about that, I urge you to rethink your stance. Everybody from The Flaming Lips to Death Cab for Cutie to Morrissey to Sleater-Kinney and the reunited Misfits will be there. Maybe buy a ticket if you’re interested. 3-day GA passes are sold out, but VIPs, 2-day and 1-days are still available. I may offer up a little bit of coverage from the fest over the course of the three days, so keep an eye out. Let’s dive into today’s Pick Your Poison, which features downloads from Dagars, Kristoffer & The Harbour, Monster Rally and Zack de la Rocha. In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream songs from Computer Magic, Cruel Youth, Field Music, Hello Shark, inc. no world, Kevin Morby, King Henry, The Men, Tanya Tagaq (ft. Shad), Third Eye Blind, Van William (ft. First Aid Kit) and more!
On Wednesday Apple unveiled the iPhone 7, and with it changed the way we listen to audio. It’s set to be the first smartphone without a headphone jack. If you want to listen to music or your favorite podcast, you can use the upgraded external speakers, or connect with the new AirPod wireless headphones. The third option is to use a headphone adapter that connects via the lightning port. A few notes about this development. The AirPod headphones will cost $159 per pair, and can hold a charge for five hours. They’re also part of Apple’s plan to make their product indispensable by investing in technology that only works with their devices. Want to use your AirPods to listen to things NOT on an iPhone or iPad? Good luck. Are you great at keeping track of your stuff? No? I’m sure you won’t lose those two small AirPods the size of an M&M and be forced to buy a fresh pair. And of course as with all rechargeable devices, it’ll be fun to watch the AirPod maintain five hours of charge for the first year, then rapidly decline to half that amount for the second. Sounds like a blast. In case you couldn’t tell, I’m a bit angry over this development. If you’re a present or future iPhone user, you should be too. Maybe in five years we’ll look back and think about how silly this whole thing was. Maybe. Okay, let’s dive into today’s Pick Your Poison. Don’t miss downloads in this set from J Hacha De Zola (covering Ariana Grande), SilverLiners, Steel Cranes, Tim Hecker and Todd Tobias. In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream songs from American Football, Baltra, Bo Rocha, Chrome Sparks (ft. Angelica Bess), Kelly Lee Owens, Mykki Blanco (ft. Jean Deaux), NOIA, Preoccupations (ft. Dan Boeckner), Punctual, SHEARE, Split Single and Swet Shop Boys.
Hope your Labor Day was grand. Every now and then you need a quiet three day weekend to recharge, you know? Happy to report that I barely did anything, and it was great. Of course now we’re back to it, as fall slowly begins to creep in. Let’s stay focused and push back with another collection of tunes under the umbrella of Pick Your Poison. Enjoy downloads in this set from Big Daddy’s Discotheque, Lubec, Men of North Country and The White Raven. In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream songs from Drugdealer (ft. Ariel Pink), gobbinjr, Grapell, Kishi Bashi, Les Gordon (ft. ADI), Lizzy Rose, Muuy Biien, Nicki Minaj, NOTS, Terry Malts and more!
Big holiday weekend ahead if you’re reading this from the US. Labor Day is that great American tradition in which we celebrate the backbreaking work that’s part of having a job. It’s nice to be able to kick back and take that time to reflect by binge watching a great TV show or grilling out with friends. You know, the good life. Anyways, enjoy the day off and crank some great new music. In need of some? Fear not, I’ve got you covered. Don’t miss downloads in this set from Curse of Lono, HEALTH, Kid Flicks and Love Sport. In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream songs from Bellows, Joseph Hein, Michael Mayer, Mu (covering Kate Bush), Papa M, Psychic Twin, Public Access T.V., The Radio Dept., Savoy Motel, SOHN and Springtime Carnivore.
Cook County is in debt. Well, the entire state is in debt actually. But Cook County is the biggest portion of the state with the highest population density, seeing as how it contains the entirety of Chicago. Anyways, when state and county governments are having trouble with their finances, they search for ways to earn or save money through any means necessary. Cook County just started barking up the wrong tree. Specifically, they’re dusting off an old law in an attempt to squeeze hundreds of thousands of dollars from Chicago’s small concert venues. The long and short of it is this: There’s a 3% “amusement tax” that’s supposed to be applied to ticketing fees or cover charges at any venue featuring live “fine art” performances. Concert venues with a capacity of 750 or less have been deemed exempt from this tax for several years now, but the county is now claiming all of them owe back taxes because live rock, hip hop and electronica performances do not qualify as “fine art.” Realistically if these small venues were forced to pay these back taxes, it’d put just about all of them immediately out of business. Needless to say, this will become a hotly debated issue over the next several weeks and months. I’m 100% on the side of the venue owners, because I believe all genres of music qualify as fine art, and have no desire to see any concert space shut down because of taxes. If you’re interested in learning more, please check out and sign this petition. Let’s hope the courts make the right decision. Without small venues, small bands would have nowhere to play. Bands like the ones highlighted in today’s Pick Your Poison. Don’t miss downloads from Alex Bent + the Emptiness, BOYO, The Deltahorse, HAWKING and Tangina Stone (ft. Crystal Caines). In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream songs from Califone, Computer Magic, Dej Loaf (covering Erykah Badu), Emma Ruth Rundle,
GRiZ (ft. Tash Neal), Itasca, Mick Jenkins (ft. BADBADNOTGOOD), MYZICA (covering The Cars), Negative Gemini, Planes Mistaken For Stars, Pop. 1280 and Vince Staples (ft. A$AP Rocky).
Alex Bent + the Emptiness – Hold On to Me Forever
Another week begins, and here we all are, alive and kicking. Might as well make the most of it with some brand new music, right? Pick Your Poison has you covered, as usual. Don’t miss downloads in this set from COPY, Fialta, Glass Spells and The Shondes. In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream songs from Amber Mark, American Football, Flock of Dimes, Holy Sons, Kero Kero Bonito, Kornel Kovacs, Mild High Club, The Return of Pimp Shrimp (aka King Krule), Sad13, Spirit Club, S U R V I V E and Thundercat.
Let’s help cure those mid-week blues with more fresh tracks as part of Pick Your Poison. There’s some great downloads in this set from The Burgeoning, Mood Robot, Morningbell, Trails and Ways as well as Vince Staples. In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream songs from Anna of the North, Car Seat Headrest, CEO, Chet Porter (ft. Chelsea Cutler), EZTV, Helena Deland, Isaiah Rashad, Loch Lomond, Ryan Playground, Sam Evian, Say Lou Lou (covering the Bee Gees) and WILLS.
How’s everybody doing now that there’s lots of new Frank Ocean in our lives? Yes, after all the intense pressure from music fans who seemingly refused to wait for the man to complete his next record, in the last few days we’ve gotten not one, but TWO new Frank Ocean albums. The first came on Thursday night with the release of Endless, which classifies more as a “visual album” than something more traditional. Shortly after it’s release via an exclusive at Apple Music, there was word going around that Endless was only the beginning, and there was another Ocean album on the way that’d be released over the weekend. We’ve heard this story and been fooled before, so there was no point in believing it until it landed in our laps. So in the later part of Saturday, Blond(e) arrived. There’s still a bit of confusion over the title, as the cover has it stylized as Blond but the listing on Apple Music says Blonde. However it’s spelled, it’s another new (and arguably much more official) Frank Ocean release. No visual components to this one, save for a video for the song “Nikes” that came out the night before the actual album drop. So yeah, it’s been an exciting few days for Ocean fans. I’m excited to give both records deep listens and close analysis in the near future. If you’re still itching for some hot new music action though, I’ve got a treat for you in today’s Pick Your Poison. There’s some great downloads in this set from The Chairman Dances, Crushed Out, This Frontier Needs Heroes and UMFANG. In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream songs from Big Gigantic (ft. Logic & Rozes), Clearance, Forth Wanderers, Girlboss, Julia Jacklin, Mick Jenkins, PAPA, Racing Heart, Suburban Living, Swet Shop Boys, The Tallest Man on Earth and Weaves (covering The Beatles).
Before another weekend arrives, let’s take stock of the week and celebrate a bit with another edition of Pick Your Poison. This time you’ll want to focus on downloads from Chasms, Earl Sweatshirt (ft. Knowledge), Kadhja Bonet and Marching Church. In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream songs from Adam Torres, American Wrestlers, Axis: Sova, Cymbals Eat Guitars, Daniel Wilson, El Perro Del Mar, Four Star Riot, Liberation, Miya Folick, PWR BTTM, Southern Shores and WELL$ (ft. Sylvan Esso).
This week is starting to feel like the doldrums of August for whatever reason. Maybe it’s the thought that summer will be unofficially ending in a couple of weeks and that kids are going back to school, but after a fun and moderately exciting summer I suppose this relative calm can be a little nice. Gives me a chance to catch up on some things. If you’ve got the time, there’s still plenty of new music to go around and I’m proud to present that to you each week in the form of Pick Your Poison. Don’t miss downloads in this set from Dinowalrus, Eux Autres, Lacrymosa, Picnic Lightning and Suntrodden. In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream songs from Banks & Steelz, et aliae (ft. Cuushe), GRiZ (ft. Leo Napier), The Head and the Heart, Hello Shark, Jamie Isaac, Katy Goodman & Greta Morgan (covering The Misfits), Low Culture, Nicole Dollanganger, Pillow Person, Psychic Twin and more!